Nokia roadmap for 2014 and 2015 gets leaked
Jun06

Nokia roadmap for 2014 and 2015 gets leaked

Several of Nokia’s plans regarding phone releases for the next few months have been leaked today. The company, now owned by Microsoft, will obviously continue to focus on Windows Phone devices. First off, it seems like the Lumia 930, announced in April, will not be making it to the US. It is in fact already sold by Verizon under a different name (Lumia Icon, that is), but it won’t be coming to other carriers. So Big Red apparently had quite the exclusive on this one. The midrange Lumia 635 (unveiled alongside the Lumia 930) is another story, though. It’s due to be sold by T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T, as well as AT&T’s Cricket prepaid brand. This will happen in June or July, with the exception of Sprint, which may only release it later with updated firmware. The Nokia Lumia 530 should be made official pretty soon, because it’s going to arrive at T-Mobile “in the middle of the summer”, and at Cricket later on, probably in October. This will run Windows Phone 8.1 from day one, just like the 930 and 635. That said, Microsoft is planning to push out a new update to its mobile operating system before the end of the year. This will be next in line after Windows Phone 8.1, and it’s tentatively being called Windows Phone Blue GDR1. The first devices running it are said to land starting in the third quarter – Tesla for AT&T and Superman for Verizon. Both of those are code names, of course, as are the next ones we’ll be discussing. The ‘fall flagship’ will be the McLaren, and this one will be picked up by AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile. It will ship in time for the holiday season. Then in spring of 2015 we can expect a pair of new handsets for AT&T, known as Makepeace and Dempsey. Finally, in late summer of next year (or maybe early fall) we should see a phablet code named Cityman and a flagship offering currently going by Talkman. All of this information reportedly comes from “a well-placed source”. Keep in mind however that plans change, and even if all of this is true now, you may not see some of these handsets actually hitting the streets. Via...

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 now up for pre-order in the US and UK
May21

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 now up for pre-order in the US and UK

As expected, today the newly announced Microsoft Surface Pro 3 tablet went up for pre-order in the US of A in the company’s own online store. It’s also ready to be pre-ordered in the UK, though, which is a nice bonus. That said, the US and Canada will get the Surface Pro 3 in stock first, on June 20. It will become available in the UK by the end of August – nothing less vague for now. It looks like only two Surface Pro 3 SKUs are actually expected to launch on June 20 in the US, and unfortunately the cheapest option isn’t among them. The $999 model with an Intel Core i5 processor and 128 GB of storage is one of the lucky ones, the other being the $1,299 tablet that keeps that CPU but has 256 GB of storage capacity built-in. The other three variations all show up as shipping by August 31, even in the US. Needless to say, in the UK all five SKUs are in this situation. Over there, the new tablet starts at £639 for the Intel Core i3 model with 64 GB of storage, and goes up to £1,649 for the version with a Core i7 and 512 GB of built-in space. The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 comes with a 12-inch 2,160×1,440 touchscreen, a 5 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front camera, stereo speakers, a microSD card slot, a full size USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, a stylus called Surface Pen, and quoted nine-hour battery life (while Web browsing). It runs Windows 8.1 Pro, the ‘full’ version, not the RT...

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 unveiled with 12″ screen, Intel processors
May21

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 unveiled with 12″ screen, Intel processors

Today Microsoft held an event during which it unveiled the Surface Pro 3 tablet. This isn’t surprising given that yesterday we heard that this exact thing would happen. But there was no Surface Mini outed, and that goes against a myriad of rumors and purported leaks we’ve seen over the past few months. So what gives? Well, it turns out there was a Surface Mini in development, but Microsoft decided not to launch it after all. This was apparently done because the company’s execs didn’t think it was different enough from the competition, and “probably wouldn’t be a hit”. This is according to a person with knowledge of Microsoft’s plans, quoted by Bloomberg. So the Surface Mini is a no go, at least for now. But that may change in the future, obviously. Microsoft decided not to compete with the iPad Mini and Nexus 7, and instead it went with something a lot bigger. The Surface Pro 3 comes with a 12-inch touchscreen, just like it was rumored to. And its main competitor seems to be the MacBook Air. Will Microsoft succeed though? Past Surface tablets have been pitted against the full size iPad with no good results, their sales having been lackluster at best. So now Microsoft is putting out a bigger tablet that will probably only be used in the enterprise (which is where Microsoft still sees a lot of orders), or as a small laptop replacement (and this is how the company hopes to bring the Surface Pro 3 into the hands of consumers). The Surface Pro 3 comes with a 12-inch 2,160×1,440 touchscreen with 3:2 aspect ratio (as opposed to 16:9 for the other Surface models and 4:3 for Apple’s iPads), Intel processors (see below for full breakdown), a 5 MP rear camera, a 2 MP front camera, stereo speakers, a microSD card slot, a full size USB 3.0 port, a mini DisplayPort, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac, Bluetooth 4.0, a stylus called Surface Pen, and quoted nine-hour battery life (while Web browsing). It runs Windows 8.1 Pro, the ‘full’ version, not the RT one. As leaked yesterday, there will be quite a few hardware versions of the Surface Pro 3. The cheapest option will cost $799 and will come with an Intel Core i3 processor, 64 GB of built-in storage, and 4 GB of RAM. For $200 extra you can double the amount of storage and get a Core i5 CPU. $1,299 will buy you an i5 with 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of built-in space, while for $1,549 you can make that processor be a Core i7. Finally, the most expensive SKU will...

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Microsoft Surface Pro 3 might be announced tomorrow alongside the Surface Mini
May19

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 might be announced tomorrow alongside the Surface Mini

Tomorrow Microsoft is holding a tablet-related event that is widely believed to be the stage on which the incredibly often rumored Surface Mini will finally launch. However, that might not be the only new tablet that the software giant has prepared for this particular shindig. According to two separate sources, a new Surface Pro offering will be outed as well. This may be called Surface Pro 3, but it’s likely that it will be sold alongside the Surface Pro 2 that was announced last September – so it’s probably not that tablet’s successor. The Surface Pro 3 (we’ll call it that, even though it might get a different official moniker) is said to come with a bigger screen than the 10.6-inch Surface Pro 2 packs. It’s also going to be thinner. It will come in many versions, the cheapest sporting an Intel Core i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 64 GB of storage, all for $799. $200 more gives you an i5 CPU and double the storage capacity (while keeping the RAM amount the same). For $1,299 you’ll be able to buy a Surface Pro 3 with an i5, 8 GB of RAM, and 256 GB of storage, $1,549 will net you a Core i7 processor instead of the i5, and the top of the line model will have a Core i7, 8 GB of RAM, and 512 GB of space. This should retail for $1,949. New Type covers are on the way too, in black, purple, cyan, and red. That last color will be a Microsoft exclusive, so it will probably only be found in Microsoft stores or the Microsoft online store. The Surface Pro 3 is also expected to come with smaller bezels than the Pro 2, and the Windows button located on the vertical side, not the horizontal. Unfortunately though, other details about this tablet haven’t emerged yet. But once again, based on pricing alone, it’s clear who Microsoft is creating this tablet for – the enterprise, its much-beloved cash cow. It’s obvious that in the consumer market the Surface Pro 3 will be a niche device and nothing more, though maybe that’s just fine with Microsoft. The Surface Mini has been rumored to come with a 7.5-inch 1,440×1,080 touchscreen (with 4:3 aspect ratio like the iPads, not 16:9 like the bigger Surface tablets), a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 2 GB of RAM, and 32 or 64 GB of built-in storage. It will run Windows 8.1 RT, since its chipset is ARM-based. Via Windows Phone Central, WinSuperSite,...

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Microsoft holding event on May 20, Surface Mini could be unveiled
May06

Microsoft holding event on May 20, Surface Mini could be unveiled

Microsoft has scheduled an event for May 20. In the invite it sent out to the media, the company mentions this is going to be “a small gathering”. If you emphasize the word “small”, you may come to think that this whole thing may be about the incredibly often leaked, but not so far confirmed Microsoft Surface Mini tablet. That idea is perhaps solidified by the Microsoft Surface branding on the invite. So Surface + small = Surface Mini? Quite possible. Ever since the software giant got into the tablet making game with the Surface line, there have been rumors about a smaller tablet being in the pipeline too. Though up until today that hasn’t actually surfaced, if you’ll excuse the pun. That may all change on May 20, which is exactly two weeks from today. Unfortunately though, there’s no way to be 100% sure right now, since Microsoft chose not to simply write the word “Mini” after “Surface”, so there’s a very slim chance that this event is going to be about something else. But if you’ve been anxiously waiting for a Surface Mini to hit the streets, that may finally be about to happen. Stay tuned and we’ll let you know when we find out more. Via...

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4.7″ Nokia ‘Superman’ coming this year with 5 MP front camera
Apr28

4.7″ Nokia ‘Superman’ coming this year with 5 MP front camera

Microsoft has completed its acquisition of Nokia’s mobile device arm last week. Yet the new Microsoft Mobile will continue to churn out Windows Phones as you’d expect. Certain details about such a handset have been leaked to The Verge today. It’s codenamed “Superman”, it’s currently in development, and the goal is to have it on the market before the end of the year. This smartphone will be the first from Nokia to come with a 5 MP front-facing camera, definitely a very important aspect in today’s selfie-obsessed world. For the past couple of years Chinese smartphone makers have been putting higher and higher resolution front cameras in their wares, and with the prevalence of the selfie thing nowadays the big brands seem to have noticed the trend too. Hence, HTC used a 5 MP front camera in its current flagship device, the One M8. And now Nokia will follow suit, with a 5 MP front snapper on this Superman phone. That’s still a far cry from the ZTE Nubia X6 with its 13 MP front camera, but it’s a step in the right direction we guess. The Nokia Superman will have a 4.7-inch touchscreen (resolution unknown for now) and it will be a midrange offering, not a high-end flagship. We’ll let you know when we find out more about...

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Microsoft Surface 2 with 4G LTE now up for pre-order in the UK, ships on May 8
Apr10

Microsoft Surface 2 with 4G LTE now up for pre-order in the UK, ships on May 8

After having gone on sale in the US first last month, the Microsoft Surface 2 with LTE support is preparing to land in the UK. The tablet, which was only officially announced one day before its release in the US, can now be pre-ordered in the UK. If you’re interested in getting one, you can do what’s necessary over at Microsoft’s own online store for the UK. The price you’ll need to pay to receive a Surface 2 complete with 4G mobile data connectivity is £539, VAT included of course. The tablet comes with 64 GB of built-in storage space. Microsoft says it will start shipping pre-orders on May 8, which is also the day on which you’ll be able to find the Surface 2 4G in more places – high-street retailers such as Dixons, for example. The Surface 2 with LTE comes with 200 GB of OneDrive storage valid for two years, as well as unlimited minutes for calling landlines and Wi-Fi hotspot access for one year via Skype. More than 60 countries are included in the ‘unlimited minutes to landlines’ bit, and Skype boasts more than 2 million hotspot locations all over the world – all of which you’ll be able to use for free for 12 months after you purchase one of these...

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Microsoft Surface 2 with LTE announced, arrives tomorrow
Mar17

Microsoft Surface 2 with LTE announced, arrives tomorrow

A few days ago the Microsoft Surface 2 with LTE started arriving in warehouses, so its launch seemed rather imminent. And so it was, since today the company has decided to officially announce this new version of the tablet that originally got unveiled last September. The Surface 2 with LTE will apparently only work with AT&T’s high-speed network, and you’ll be able to share your connection with other devices via Wi-Fi. The Surface 2 with LTE will become available tomorrow at Microsoft retail stores, Microsoft’s online store, and all Best Buy and Best Buy Mobile stores. It will cost $679 and will come with 64 GB of internal storage. There will be no other LTE-capable versions coming with more built-in space, or less. Aside from the added 4G LTE connectivity, the Surface 2 with LTE is identical in terms of specs to its Wi-Fi-only sibling that launched months ago. You can expect it to come with a 10.6-inch 1080p Full HD touchscreen, a 1.7 GHz quad-core Nvidia Tegra 4 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 5 MP rear camera, a 3.5 MP front camera, microSD card support, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth. It runs Windows 8.1...

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Microsoft Surface 2 with 4G LTE gets priced, arrives in warehouses
Mar12

Microsoft Surface 2 with 4G LTE gets priced, arrives in warehouses

Microsoft launched its Surface 2 tablet in September of last year, but so far it’s only been available in a Wi-Fi-only flavor. If you’ve been meaning to get one, but decided to wait for a version that’s capable of 4G LTE connectivity, the wait could be almost over for you. That’s because such devices have already been spotted in store warehouses, although they aren’t on sale just yet. Furthermore, we can even talk about pricing for one particular model. The 4G Surface 2 for AT&T, the one with 64 GB of internal storage, will retail for $679. That’s a $130 premium over the Wi-Fi-only variant of the same capacity, and we are assuming this pricing is valid sans contract. Obviously though, AT&T may (and probably will) offer a contract version, which should be a bit cheaper. And of course the 32 GB model should also get a 4G LTE iteration. If the price difference will remain the same compared to the Wi-Fi model as it is for the 64 GB tablet, then the 32 GB base model with 4G should go for $579. We still don’t have an official release date to speak of for these, but it has to be close. And if you were wondering whether the Surface Pro 2 would ever get an LTE option, that’s unclear too. But we’ll do our best to keep you posted. Via Windows Phone...

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Microsoft confirms it pays OEMs to promote Windows Phone, calls rumored $2.6B number “complete fiction”
Jan16

Microsoft confirms it pays OEMs to promote Windows Phone, calls rumored $2.6B number “complete fiction”

Yesterday we told you about Eldar Murtazin’s claims that Microsoft will pay $2.6 billion to OEM partners to make and promote Windows phones. Today Microsoft’s communications lead Frank X. Shaw responded to Eldar’s info with a tweet: As you can see, Mr. Shaw vehemently disputes Murtazin’s numbers. However, he seems to confirm that at least some money will change hands between OEM partners and Microsoft to promote Windows Phone. I asked for @eldarmurtazin ‘s  comment on this. Here is his take: So what should we make of this? For me, it is pretty clear that Microsoft will pay quite a lot of money to its OEM partners to promote Windows Phone this year. As they should. There is little else they can do to wean smartphone OEMs from their Android addiction. The money will be sent to WP vendors in the form of co-marketing funds, not as Nokia like “platform support” payments. But we are playing with semantics here. In the end – cash is cash, no matter what you call it for  accounting or PR purposes. The only questions that remain are – “How much?“, and “Will those payments lead to WP success?“...

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